5 Smart Ways I've Learned to Shop for Little Ones

Children grow so fast! By the time I got around to letting my son wear a pair of jeans I bought him just a few months earlier, they were are too short and too tight! I was tired of spending so much money on clothing that he would quickly grow out of, even after enduring serious wear and tear from our afternoons at the playground, from either falling or climbing his favorite tree.

Now with a new baby the expenses are higher, and I can’t just go out and shop whenever I please. I have had to become a savvier shopper and find ways to stretch a dollar while still keeping my kids well-dressed. We don’t all have other family members or friends to inherit hand-me-downs from, so it is up to us as moms to find the best deals out there.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can reduce your spending costs and re-use clothing — they are simple ideas but it is just a matter of putting them into action. It may take a little bit of extra work, but I promise, it’s worth it!

1. Mom Swaps — This is my personal favorite and one that works for updating our wardrobes too. Every few months I get together with a group of mom friends and we organize a children’s clothing swap at one of our homes. We make it a girls afternoon, everyone brings a little something to eat and drink and we get our swap on! Baby clothing, kids clothes, toys, accessories anything that is in good condition and can be used again. Anything that is left at the end is donated or each person takes it back. It’s great way to help each other out and re-use clothing that may have only been worn a few times.

2. Yard Sales — It’s been years since I have been to one, but a few weeks ago I stopped at one after seeing a table fun of kids clothes. Yes, there was some “junk” but among that there were some gently worn pieces that were priced at $1 – $2 or under. Bargain!

3. Kids Consignment Stores — Don’t just take your stuff to give away at the thrift store, make some cash back or get store credit. Consignments stores require you to make an appointment to come in and they go through your items with you to carefully select clothing, toys and other children’s items they are willing to sell. You get a unique code, and each time a customer purchases something of yours, you make a profit. At the end of the season or quarter (depending on how they do it) you get a check for your items sold or you can use that credit in store!

4. Shop End-of-Season Sales — You can snag amazing deals at the end of summer or winter sales, some up to 75% off. Think ahead to the following year, how old your child will be, what will they need? You could essentially be ready for the following year and at less than half of the cost. Remember when your mamá would buy Christmas decorations for next year at the end of December? Well, now it’s the same for your kids clothing. I personally take full advantage of the super low prices and stock up!

5. Make a Plan — Even before leaving the house, make a plan of what you need that way you don’t overspend. Also if you are going with the kids, tell them too. Say, “We are only buying one pair of shoes and jeans. Nothing else.” This helps avoid those awkward moments when your child is begging you to buy them those furry pink boots or being tempted with something else. Buy a half a size up so that they can grow into it. For babies, it’s best to buy in bulk or look for outfits that come in a set — such as leggings, a onesie, hoodie and socks or something similar.

It’s easy to get carried away, especially with all the cute and trendy baby and kids’ clothing, but make that plan, stick to it, and be smart!

How do you save money when shopping for children’s clothing?

Read more from Maria José at Very Busy Mamá — Life, Beauty & Style. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Rocket Fuel